10 Years of Blog Archive

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

5 Retirement Abroad Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make and 4 Certainties You Do

1. You do not want to uproot your life to go to a place you have only read about.  Reading is not the same thing as experiencing.  Please, do come visit.

2.  You don’t want to believe everything you read because it is other people’s experiences, not yours.  My favorite food is spicy Mexican but other people will not taste the flavor of spicy enchiladas in the same way I do...and they may even hate spicy Mexican food!

3. Have realistic expectations: Don’t think that moving abroad is going to make your life easier, better or happier.

4. Do NOT be too trusting: You do not want to make the mistake of being too trusting with anyone, anywhere you live in the world. Just as you would behave in North America or Europe, do your diligence when making business transactions and making friends and trusting people abroad.

5. Don’t sign away your rental rights on leases. BTW, do not sign any legal agreements you do not know what they say!

BONUS 6.  Don’t move abroad thinking you will be able to get a job, or make a better living there than where you are at now. You will need to bring your own finances. It has been said in the blogosphere: if you can’t afford to come for a visit then you can’t afford to live here. We agree.

4 Retirement Abroad Certainties You Do Want to Make

1. Due diligent research: You do want to do extensive research to the city you are considering and then use that research as a supplement to you going there and visiting.

2. Experience locally: You do want to realize that visiting a city for only a few weeks to 3 months is like taking a vacation and so you will want to spend the available time you have truly experiencing the culture, people, customs, traditions, environment and climate, language and infrastructures thoroughly. 

Then, be honest with yourself about whether or not you will like living there permanently. It took Frank and I several Ecuador coast trips to realize that we wouldn’t want to live there on a permanent basis; we do prefer Cuenca for permanent living.

3. Make sure you bring your own finances, whether it is a pension, social security or other ongoing monthly earnings. Moving to so called “cheap paradises” without money already coming in is not a good idea. The hype that you can live cheaply is not something that very many people can do or are willing to do.  In other words, what you read is not what it really is!

4. Do come with an open mind. Those folks who come to Cuenca Ecuador with ideas of how they think it is going to be will be sorely disappointed. However, we regularly hear from expats and gringos to Cuenca that tell us our information was “spot on” for them and were prepared from much of what we said.

We like to hear positive comments from folks because we like to help people make a more informed decision when moving abroad. However we also know that our experiences will not be your experiences and as long as you know that too, you’ll probably love Cuenca and have a great time! See ya when you get here!

We're an Expat Family of Five, Living Frugal, Healthy and Happy in Cuenca Ecuador! Enjoy the Discover Cuenca Ecuador blog!


  1. I truly appreciate your straight forwardness and honesty. I would love to be able to contact you via email, but from the contact us button, email button does not appear to be working.

    Tee Bolen

    1. Thank you. To email us, click on the
      "Contact Us" button on this page. It will then automatically open up YOUR email program with our contact information already entered: for example, if you use "windows live mail" it will open that program up. If you use Yahoo mail it will open that program up. If you use gmail it will open that program up, and all you have to do is type your message and click send.

    2. http://www.discovercuencaecuador.com/p/email-frank-angie.html

  2. Excellent points, all of them. Thank you. I can't wait to visit Cuenca next year!


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